We all remember the family tree projects in elementary school. I remember coming home and tracing the family genealogy back for as far as I could go. I remember being excited that distant relatives included Abraham Lincoln and Pocahontas. However, as a child who was adopted my distant relatives really did not include Abraham Lincoln and Pocahontas. What really should have gone on my family tree was a big, fat question mark.
For many of us who have been adopted our past is a large question mark. I was adopted over 30 years ago where the concept of an “open adoption” didn’t really exist. Even today there are often question marks about an adoptee’s past. We have international adoptees, adoptees from foster care, and those adopted as infants. For many there is this void of “where do I come from?” I decided to try to answer some of those questions through DNA testing. Now I am not here to recommend one place or another to do this. There are many options out there now for people who want to find out their cultural heritage and more, so do your research and go with what feels right to you. What I am here to give you are four reasons that you might find DNA testing to be helpful.
Why not? What are you waiting for?
Some people may say, “Why do it?”
I say, “Why not?”
All you need to do is provide a little saliva. By doing that, an entire world can open up to you. It’s not scary. Companies make it easy. And you will learn about your heritage. It will give you some answers to start filling in that big, old question mark that may be your past.
It adds another piece to the puzzle of who you are.
I often see adoption as a bit of a puzzle. There are the puzzle pieces from the biological family, the puzzle pieces from the adoptive family, and then the puzzle pieces from the adoptee. All these puzzle pieces come together to make one’s adoption story. Finding out your cultural heritage is just another piece in that puzzle. When I had my DNA tested there were some parts that didn’t surprise me at all; like the fact that I am 38% English. Then there were other parts that really surprised me–like the fact that I am 20% Eastern European and 14% Scandinavian. It was pretty amazing to see all the different cultures that made me and helped add to the completion of the puzzle of who I am.
A connection to family.
Many times when you go through DNA testing you find matches to potential extended family members. This may be an important link for some adoptees who are hoping to find/connect with extended family. While these leads may not transpire into anything it is a good place to start.
You don’t know where DNA testing might lead.
While I have listed this as the final reason, it really could be the first. You don’t know the endless possibilities of where this might lead. Whether you find your birth mother, birth father, an aunt, uncle, or third cousin, you will have the opportunity to follow a path of discovery. While it may be scary to start, you have know idea what hidden treasures may be discovered and what connections can be made.
If you’re interested in having reliable, professional help on your adoption search and reunion, be sure to check out the free consultation from Adoption Detectives. Just click here!
To join discussions and message boards about search and reunion through DNA, visit Adoption.com/forums.